Friday, December 12, 2008
I got the trial of Adobe CS4 at work to check it out before we upgrade from CS3. And I can definitely tell you that I don't see any noticeable differences. Oh except that if you create something in CS4 you can't edit it in CS3... very inconvenient. If you make a design in CS3 or an earlier edition you can edit in CS4. I checked the adobe site to see what the new features were that I failed to notice. apparently there is an Adobe Configurator so you can drag and drop menu items, tools, video and images. There is also fluid canvas rotation. As far as I can tell the improvements are mostly to the user interface and not so much the capabilities. Still, it is nice to have the newest toy.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Since we are all interested and practicing usability concepts, for those of us who want to learn more and become more adept at it, I recommend the usability first website. It is actually produced by a design firm, but is useful for anyone concerned about maximizing the usability of their website.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Television is the cause of the rise in Violence in America!!
These are some of the complaints that most of us have heard about television over the years. To some extent their can be some truth behind these allegations and but for a group of young economist this is only a piece of the puzzle behind the "tube." These economist are compiling data showing that watching television is not all bad and that is more cases it is leading to higher test scores.
Most doctors will advise that children not watch more than two hours of television per day. Since the 1960's television has made drastic changes to more of an edgy style of programing thus effecting how our children are raised and how they will be viewing the world. at one point television served as an important tool for immigrant's children to America. This was a toll that was teaching the Non-native children not only how to speak English but it was also teaching these raw minds what it was to be American (in both a positive and negative light).
In todays society the new style of programing will be making the same influence on todays youths that it did on yeaster-years. Bu will this impact be positive or negative?
What this group has been leaning towards is that with proper programing and monitoring of television the impacts can be astronomical in a positive way.(Duhh!!) But how can this be possible in a society that has become so distant between each other that interaction has become a barrier?
I guess we will see America.
The thoughts from this story have been sparked by the article titled "A new View on TV" published in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 6, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I did, however, change my theme to "Summer Ocean." Did anyone else change their theme? Was anyone else disappointed?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
One thing I noticed was that on a lot of the business cards, the person's name was very difficult to find. I feel like that is kind of an important part of a business card, and that you should design yours so your name and other pertinent information is clearly vi sable.
The point of design should be to impart the information you want to get across in a visually pleasing way. But if the information is hard to see or understand, the design might look cool but the point of the design is a failure.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
And if anyone's looking for a Christmas gift for me, this would definitely make me happy.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Their was more than 1 million copies produced and handed out around the city. The target areas of distribution were M.T.A areas. The reason for the stunt was to open our societies eyes to what is still going on over seas and to send a message to the incoming president and his cabinet.
I think that we often "drool" over the applications of technology and we as Americans are always wanting to push limits, which is a great attribute to contain. But we also need to realize that with all good technology can bring their is equally if not more bad that the technology is capable of.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
When the new president's podium doesn't look like what it should, bring in the Photoshop to make a nice replacement or a little re-touch! I don't know if it's my eyes playing tricks on me once again but when searching through Yahoo! Sports this sign right below Obama seemed to look a little fake. Maybe I'm the only one and used to studying photos now through the introduction of complex visual aesthetics.
With new design products available like Photoshop, you can change just about anything published on the web and make it seem that it was actually taken with the photo and not added in after.
Is there anything believable through web photos these days?
Breakout of the Year: MySpace.com
Entrepreneur of the Year: Mark Cuban (BlogMaverick.com)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Kahn (inventor of TCP/IP protocol)
Best Copy/Writing: NewYorker.com
Best Navigation: Flickr.com
Best Visual Design: Google Earth
People’s Choice for Best Blog Culture/Personal: CuteOverload.com
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
If you have iTunes (which, believe it or not, some people I know still don't), there are some free podcasts about Photoshop, and in iTunesU some free tutorials as well!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This is both good and bad I think. One one hand, its good to stand out. People know who you are and know your work when they see it. Then again, sticking to one style sometimes feels old and restricted. With the Tim Burton example, if you don't like his aesthetic, you won't be drawn to view his work.
So on one hand, is it better to stand out and be distinctive? Or is it better to broad and expand your designs?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My feeling was that if you took a picture and it came out badly, you took a bad shot and that was a bloody shame. Had you wanted a better shot, you'd have taken the time to set it up, make it square, adjust settings, etc. Then I started doing a lot of traveling. And some of my on-the-go photos were, well, bad. Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to fly back over to Europe, Central America, Africa of Australia to retake a picture. The desire to have a clear, beautiful picture overpowered my feeling that the alteration of a picture ended before the shutter closed. Here are some pictures that I altered my second day ever with Photoshop, when I finally got over my stigma of altering photos.
PS - Photoblog is actually a pretty fun site to be a part of, if you're in the market for a photo sharing site.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Patterntap organizes different site components (like backgrounds, menu bars, breadcrumbs, comments boxes, etc) into different samples of styles. You can browse through the site and tag the pieces that you like or the effects that they have. And then you can try to recreate them in Photoshop on your own, or find some way to bring them into your own web page designs.
This one has a nice feature on the top right of the page. If you find a website with colors that you like, you can just enter the URL there and colorcombos.com will return the swatches of color with values so you can adopt the palette as your own, or as a starting point for a new color palette.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
So for Google's 10th birthday, they brought back (for old times sake) Google circa 2001. Which, I don't really get, why not for the 10th birthday go back 10 years? Anyways, Google has kept the same basic look, with just a font change, since 2001! that's kinda crazy if you think about it. Especially since Google has been so successful. I wonder what Yahoo looked like 2001 style?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If you ever get a chance to work for an agency, give it a shot. The atmosphere is uptempo, frenetic, work hard/play hard, zany & crazy. You've got lots of creatives wandering the halls (they're the ones in ripped jeans and cool t-shirts). Mad Men this is decidedly not. In fact, I have never seen a realistic representation of a marketing/ad agency (at least not a modern one).
Irreverence is a big part of the overall attitude. Take this example found on top of our vending machines here. The sign on the left was the obvious original warning. The sign on the right appeared recently. Enjoy the chuckle.
The example that Media Shift gives is how there is a citizen journal called Alive in Baghdad. It takes shape as a blog but serves as a political project as well. Considering that mainstream television only shows a small part of what is actually going on in Iraq, this journal/vlog shows all the details and serves to inform people. This is truly a vlog that matters.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Some of the type can get very creative. For example, a lamp post was used as a "1" in one of the versions of my message. Have fun with it!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I did some research for a response on my 501 blog and came across this blog posting about public bathroom design. These bathrooms perform all of the basics, but there's so much more to them. They range from cool to funny to overdone and crazy. No matter how crazy they get though, the color schemes flow together nicely. You'll notice some styles are complementary, analogous, etc. and the various textures convey different emotions (ex: compare the bar bathroom with the flowery one).
The designs alone would certainly be reason enough to excuse yourself to the loo!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This is not a new concept, it has been around for thousands of years. I was reminded about the Parthenon in Athens. Ancient-Greece.org has a good article showing how the ancients knew how to space objects so they appear perfect. This article says
"The architects of the Parthenon appear to be excellent scholars of visual illusion, an attribute undoubtedly sharpened by years of architectural refinement and observation of the natural world. They designed the columns that appear at the corners of the temple to be 1/40th (about 6 cm) larger in diameter than all the other columns, while they made the space around them smaller than the rest of the columns by about 25 cm. The reason for this slight adaptation of the corner columns is due to the fact that they are set against the bright sky, which would make them appear a little thinner and a little further apart than the columns set against the darker background of the building wall. The increase in size and decrease of space thus compensates for the illusion that the bright background would normally cause."
VisualIllusions.net points out some other interesting visual illusion facts on the Parthenon, such that the base line is not perfectly straight, that is it buckled to appear straight. It is amazing how the ancient architects were able to take into consideration all these variables.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I wanted to share some pics that I took over the past few years that have alot to do with colors. But first a little background. All my cameras have always been Canons, and probably always will be. Besides their durability, (which I can personally say is very good) they have this feature, which as far as I know, no other brand offers (please feel free to correct that if you know of any other kind of brand with this feature) the ability to heighten a selected color, and gray out all others. The effect is really cool and it gives new dimension to shots. Here are some samples, what do you think? Does this add to the shot, or really just take away from the it?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Well, the rarity, and the painful squinting, and the overwhelming satisfaction when the squinting pays off.
Friday, September 19, 2008
In the article "Optical Illusions," they defined an illusion as "1. something that decieves or misleads intellectually; 2. perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature" (ACNR Vol. 6 Number 2 May/June 2006). The illusion I was most mislead by was the ballerina. It looked at first glance that she clearly was circling in a clock-wise direction, then all of the sudden it was like my mind played a trick on me. She was moving counter clock-wise. I can see why people would be interested in studing optical illusions, even as far back as Aristotle, people were interested in this idea. I was fooled in terms of perception versus reality while looking at these pictures and I think not only is this an interesting science but also one worth paying attention to.
I have appreciated abstract art for some time and but trying to recreate it was a challenge. It made me admire the artwork of Kandinsky and Escher.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Much to his disbelief, he knew I was right - I'm not exactly Picasso. Not even close!
I do, however, appreciate great art. I'm a fan of Van Gogh and Monet, Warhol & Dali, but only know the greatest hits. My husband got me into Escher. We even have some posters (not orginal) in our home.
I particularly love Alexander Calder. Blame Antiques Roadshow. Someone had this little tiny mobile by Calder and it was worth a fortune.
Walking through LA about four years ago, I spotted nearly the same mobile - on steriods. It was HUGE! I dragged my husband and kids over yelling, "That's a Calder, isn't it? I really think it's a Calder." My family thought I was nuts, but my husband was impressed.
I have since spotted two other Calders in DC and NY, and my kids have grown used to my latest obession. Don't ask me explain why I like his work - I just do.
Just this week, my boss got an invite to a new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in NYC.
You guessed it - CALDER!
Just another excuse to get to New York.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I found this article that describes how website design conveys an idea to the user about the credibility of the sender. It also points out specific areas of design and how they affect the users' perceptions.
I was in Paris earlier this year for a few weeks and they were celebrating the anniversary of the student riots at La Sorbonne. Around the area of the university they had some large displays of photos taken during the riots. I took a picture sof one of the photo displays that, while I would characterize myself the farthest thing from a 'hippie,' I think is very intense and I wanted to share it with the class....
There are many details that add up to make this a fantastic shot. I like that the photographer chose to frame the shot so that the police would be in a long line, all with the same stern expressions and all with their weapons pointed towards the students.
Also, I like the student's expression and turned up hand indicating a peaceful offering. And the fact that hes offering a flower. I also like that the student is in the foreground and there is only one student in the shot. This makes the viewer feel as if they were one of the students facing a wall of police unwilling to bend.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Is there an article or maybe a segment on Discovery channels' "How It's Made" that shows the behind the scenes with these works of art? Working with Photoshop, I can't imagine how many layers go into one of these drawings. My mind would probably explode based on my first experience re-creating Kandinsky's work of art. I find the whole notion of illusions and different perspectives on how we look at shapes to be really amazing.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In the meantime, however, I've been pointed towards the Deviant Art website by a friend of mine. I'm not sure how many people know about it, but head on over for some very interesting art and animation work submitted by an online art community. Just another community to be addicted to :)
Friday, September 12, 2008
another thing I found endless were the many ways to do the same thing. For example, to zoom in on your picture, you can use the mag. glass tool, or press shift +, or type in the %... and so on. I think once I get used to the program, things will get easier. However right now, the sky literally is the limit....
I was unaware that the symbol of a stork in Singapore meant maternal death and that the symbol OK was considered vulgar in both Germany and Brazil. Or that there are numbers that are considered unlucky in different countries. There should be an easier way in the begining of the process of creating programs to unversially assign a language that can be used for all countries. It seems as though we are up to date on technology of the programs but not up to date on their language. It is interesting how there are not simultaneously in tune.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I also came accross this video of an artist using MSpaint (remember that old school window drawing program, to create some really sharp sketches. I still use ms paint every now and again for very minor adjustments.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Be consistent. Don't create a five page website with five uniquely designed pages. Make sure that your navigation, text fonts, colors, backgrounds and page layout are consistent across your entire site.
This tip will probably help us all in the long run when we have designed our sites... especially when it comes to time management.
The problem I keep running into is that I cannot decide on which design to go with (not that all of my ideas are so brilliant that I cannot choose) but more because I am indecisive and cannot make a decision already!
"Usability Tip: Don't use "Under Construction" signs for sections of your site. If a particular page isn't done, don't even have a link to it. Your site will always be under construction in some way, shape or form; or it's getting very stale quickly."
Although it may be common sense, I happen to run into many sites that are "under construction." save all users the hassle of just not linking to it.
The main focus of this chapter was on usability of widgets such as pushbuttons, radio buttons, check boxes, drop-down lists, and entry fields.
1. Distinguish Required and Optional Data Entry Fields
-Users should be able to be able to clearly distinguish optional information from required data.
2. Label Data Entry Fields Consistently
- Data entry fields should be labeled consistently so that the same data items is given the same label if it appears on different pages
- if users are familiar with your sites format they are able to navigate with more ease.
- For example, don't sing words or phrases for some labels and short sentence for others.
3. Do Not Make User-Centered Codes Case Sensitive
- Only use Case sensitive if there is a good reason such as a password
- Clearly state to users when using case sensitive codes
4. Label Pushbuttons Clearly
- Pushbuttons should be labeled with exact action to be taken
- Users should know what they are doing
5. label Data Entry Fields Clearly
- Use descriptive labels that let users know exactly what is required in the data field.
6. Minimize User Data Entry
- Do not require users to enter the same information more than once.
- This eliminates one more task for the users do not need to complete.
7. Put Labels Close to Data Entry Fields
- All labels and related information should be close to the data entry field to enable users to easily relate the label and entries required.
8. Allow Users to See Their Entered Data
- This allows users to see if any errors were made and gives them a chance to correct them.
- Designers should also be aware of the length of data entry fields.
9. Use Radio Buttons for Mutually Exclusive Selections
- Radio buttons elicit reliably better performance than drop-down lists.
10. Use Familiar Widgets
- Use widgets that are familiar to your users and in a commonly used manner
- Do not make the mistake of assuming all users are familiar with all widgets
- Perform usability tests to ensure that users will be able to use the widgets on your site.
11. Anticipate Typical Users Errors
- Provide a message when a user makes a mistake and offer a solution or suggestion.
helpful article about creating web galleries in photoshop
blog on all things related to web and graphic design
Sunday, April 27, 2008
It's about designing websites for people with disabilities. It made me pause to remember to always try to think about others and incorporate ways to facilitate webpage use in any design I do. It's always good to help others.
The following is a summary from Chapter 12 on Lists:
Order Elements to Maximize User Performance
- First, decide whether or not there is an order for items that will facilitate the use of the site
- Ensure that the site is formatted to support that order, and that all pages follow the same order
- Keep in mind that it is the user's logic that should prevail rather than the designer's logic
Place Important Items at Top of the List
- Place a list's most important items at the top
- Users tend to stop scanning a list as soon as they see something relevant
Format Lists to Ease Scanning
- Make lists easy to scan and understand
- The use of meaningful labels, effective background colors, borders, and white space allow users to identify a set of items as a discrete list
Display Related Items in Lists
- Display a series of related items in a vertical list rather than as continuous text
- One study indicated that scanning a horizontal list takes users twenty percent longer than scanning a vertical list
Introduce Each List
- Provide an introductory heading (i.e., word or phrase) at the top of each list
- Allows users to readily understand the reason for having a list of items, and how the items relate to one another
- Users are able to use lists better when they include headings
Use Static Menus
- Use static menus to elicit the fastest possible speed when accessing menu items
- Should put the most frequently used menu items in the first few positions of a menu
- Adaptable menus -- where users are allowed to change the order of the items, elicits reasonably fast performance as well.
- However, one study found that users prefer having static menus, rather than adaptive menus
Start Numbered Items at One
- When items are numbered, start the numbering sequence at "one" rather than "zero"
Use Appropriate List Style
- Use bullet lists to present items of equal status or value
- Use numbered lists if a particular order to the items is warranted
- Bullet lists work best when the items do not contain an inherent sequence, order, or rank
- Numbered lists assign each item in the list an ascending number, making the order readily apparent
- Numbered lists are especially important when giving instructions
Capitalize First Letter of First Word in Lists
- Capitalize the first letter of only the first word of a list item, a list box item, check box labels, and radio button labels
- Only the first letter of the first word should be capitalized unless that item contains another word that would normally be capitalized
- Keep design of data entries consistent instead of requiring users to go back and forth between keyboard and mouse entry. It will slow them down.
- Prioritize push buttons by location and highlighting. Place the most frequently used push button first in a sequence, or on the left since that is the way users read. Also make the more frequent button the default action when users press enter. i.e. Search button.
- Check box control is the most preferred system when users are allowed to choose multiple selections from a list.
- Be sure to label the desired measurement units, such as pounds, ounces or minutes, rather than having users type them in and increase speed of the data entry process.
- When using open lists show as many options as possible to reduce scrolling.
- Display default values for such things as quantity (1) where default values will be defined.
- Place a blinking cursor automatically at the beginning of the first data entry field. Users should not be required to click on the mouse button to activate the field.
- Make sure that double-clicking won’t cause unnecessary problems. For example, most people tend to double-click a link when only one click is necessary and designers have no control over that. But they do have control over what happens. In order to not confuse the users double-clicking should bring users to the same page as if they would single click the same thing.
- Use open lists instead of drop down menus when choosing one out of many. This will save time and reduce scrolling.
- Text entry fields, or data entry fields, are proven to speed up user performance compared to selecting the information from list format.
- Use at least two radio buttons, or option buttons, together. If users choose not to activate any of the radio buttons, make sure to provide a choice labeled “None”
- Provide auto-tabbing for advanced Web users to significantly reduce data entry times.
The overall concept of this chapter is to design data entry interfaces that require the least amount of time required by the user. Also keep it simple so you don’t confuse the user. SAVE TIME AND DON’T CONFUSE THE USER!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
*If the content does not provide the information needed by users, the website will provide little value no matter how easy it is to use the site.
15.1- Make Action Sequences Clear
*When describing an action or task that has a natural order or sequence, structure the content so that the sequence is obvious and consistent.
15.2- Avoid Jargon
*To improve understanding among users who are accustomed to using the jargon term, if may be helpful to put that term in parenthesis.
15.3- Use Familiar Words
*USe words that are familiar to and used frequently by typical users. Words that are more frequently seen and heard are better an dmore quickly recognized.
15.4- Define Acronyms and Abbreviations
*Acronyms and abbreviations should be used sparingly and must be defined in order to be understood by all users.
*Write the word first then in parentheses the acronym, so; Physician Data Query (PDQ).
* Usually, the acronyms and abbreviations are defined on first mention, but users may miss it scrolling.
15.5- Use Abbreviations Sparingly
*The only times to use abbreviations are when they are significantly shorter, save needed space, and will be readily understood by typical users.
15.6- Use Mixed Case w/Prose
*If an item is intended to attract the user's attention, display the item in all uppercase, bold, or italics.
*Do not use these methods for showing emphasis for more than one or two words or a short phrase because they slow reading performance when used for extended prose.
15.7- Limit the Number of Words and Sentences
*To enhance the readability of prose text, a sentence should not contain more than twenty words. A paragraph should not contain more than six sentences.
15.8- Limit Prose Text on Navigation Pages
*When there are many words on navigation pages, users tend to rapidly scan for specific words or begin clicking on many different links, rather than reading the text associated with the links.
15.9- Use Active Voice
* Users benefit from simple, direct language.
*Strong verbs help the user know who is acting and what is being acted upon.
15.10-Write Instructions in the Affirmative
*As a general rule, write instructions in affirmative statements rather than negative statements.
*When giving insturctions, strive to tell users what to do rather than what to avoid doing.
*If the likelihood of making a wrong step is high or the consequences are dire, negative voice may be clearer to the user.
15.11- Make First Sentences Descriptive
*Include the primary theme of a paragraph, and the scope of what it covers, in the first sentence of each paragraph.
*Users tend to skim the first one or two sentences of each paragraph when scanning text.
Color emotion is the relationship between color and the viewer's psychological responses. "Warm" is not a real emotion term, but a semantic term for describing the association between colour and temperature. Colour emotion concerns human emotions evoked when seeing colours. "Emotion terms" are those for describing human emotions such as excitement, happiness and anxiety.
Here are some different color emotion theories:
J. W. Goethe developed a colour harmony theory on the basis of his hue circle. In this circle, colours are categorised into two sides, the positive and the negative. The former includes yellow, reddish yellow and yellowish red; the latter includes blue, reddish blue and bluish red.
M. E. Chevreul's theories on colour harmony are based on his colour circle of 64 hues derived from three primary hues: yellow, red and blue.
Ostwald's system is particularly favoured by artists and designers because of its superficial similarity of construction to the way artists mix their paints on the palette.
Munsell's colours in this system are arranged such that the perceptual difference between any two neighbouring colours is nearly constant in each of the three dimensions, Munsell Hue, Munsell Value and Munsell Chroma.
P. Moon and D. E. Spencer proposed a quantitative model of colour harmony, using predictors "colour interval" P. Moon and D. E. Spencer proposed a quantitative model of colour harmony, using predictors "colour interval".
The central idea behind J. Itten's colour harmony theories is that "two or more colours are mutually harmonious if their mixture yields a neutral grey."
The Coloroid system was developed by A. Nemcsics for use in colour design. The aim of the system is to create aesthetic uniformity of a colour space.
The NCS (Natural Colour System) was developed by T. Johansson and S. Hesselgren and, more recently, by A. Hård and L. Sivik. In the NCS, colours are specified in terms of the relative amount of four elementary hues (red, green, yellow and blue) and of black and white.
Colour Appearance Attributes: Every colour has three basic characteristics: hue, lightness and chroma. These are sometimes referred to as the three colour appearance attributes. There are also other attributes used to describe colour appearance, such as brightness, colorfulness and saturation, and some of them are more useful than these three basic attributes in certain circumstances.
The CIE is an international commission of illumination and is responsible for international standards of photometry and colorimetry. The CIE system provides methods for specifying colour stimuli under controlled viewing conditions.
Here is the site... http://colour-emotion.co.uk/whats.html
"Nano Photos Rival Modern Art" is a collection of the real scientific images that were manipulated resulting in some striking images that look more like art than science.
A recent post "Celebration of Vintage and Retro Design," talks about how older graphic designs such as propaganda, ads, and book cover from the 50's, 60's and 70's are influencing a whole new generation of designers.
There are some really cool designs, I love the advertisements from the 1950s.
Design is Kinky
Images are often a mjor factor in how fast web pages load. The text recommends splitting large images up into smaller pieces to short load times, and also load times under 5 seconds were considered to be good, 5-10 ok, and over 10 not worth their time.
Audio and video should be used to support an idea on a site, they should not be used just for the sake of using them. They claim this should also be applied to logos. Also important is to not make any of the images on the site look like ad banners, because users will avoid looking at them. Making navigation, for example, look like an add banner would be a grave mistake. Designers should also choose images which users will relate to or be familiar with as opposed to oscure ones that they might not be able to fully associate with the message the website is conveying.
The next section advises designers to use images sparingly on websites, and to only add them where they will in some way enhance the website. It also advises designers to pick images which will not be distracting to the user ( find this a little strange since most images on a website will detract a user's attention from the text based content).
The next section advises the use of charts and graphs when representing data, since it will aid the user in understanding and visualizing what they website is trying to communicate about the data.
Animations should have introductions (i believe "and or") text explaining what they are illustrating. (Some animation is purely decorative though, I wouldn't think that it would need explanation).
Mimicking real life in designs, especially functional designs can aid in user's understanding what they are supposed to do, or how they are supposed to interact with a particular interface.
Thumbnails can help load times on websites because they only load a small preview of the full sized image and you can have multiple thumbnails on a page without inreasing the load time too much. thumbnails will however often increase the number of pages within the website.
The final few points of the chapter were that designers should use images instead of text wherever possible to communicate a message to a user. images are often easier to comprehend and can be universal. (Although we learned last week about how this can differ from culture to culture). Also, photographs whihc support a website are helpful in that they create an atmosphere within the website which leads a user to trust the organization who's website they are viewing. Users are more apt to trust sites with photographs on them.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
this site is a little simplistic in its approach, but useful for a jumping-off point
Brief summary of article:
This holds some useful information on how to organize, and ultimately search, content on websites.
A taxonomy is a hierarchical tree structure such as those used in scientific classification schemes. Every web site contains its own unique information, so there is no single classification scheme that works for everybody. Hence taxonomies don’t work well.
Folksonomies are a new user-driven approach to organizing information. Sites with folksonomies include two basic capabilities: they let users add “tags” to information and they create navigational links out of those tags to help users find and organize that information later.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Here is one example:
Aussies: Are extremely patriotic to their beer.
Americans: Are flag-waving, anthem-singing, and obsessively patriotic to the point of blindness. Canadians: Can't agree on the words to their anthem, when they can be bothered to sing them. Brits: Do not sing at all but prefer a large brass band to perform the anthem.